Epiphany A: liturgical Prayers

Epiphany of the Lord

Sunday January 8

 1. Light Revealed to the Nations
2. A Savior for All the World
3. The Guiding Star for All Nations


1. Light Revealed to the Nations
Greeting
May the star of Jesus our Lord shine on you
and on all the nations of the earth.
May you live in his light
and may the Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant
The celebration of Epiphany, meaning “manifestation,” is like a second Christmas. It is, in fact, the Christmas of the Eastern Churches. It proclaims that the child Jesus belongs to and is given to the whole world as its Savior. With the magi the world brings to him its variety of gifts: its culture, its many facets, its different identities. And we here, like people from other nations, bring him the gift of ourselves: our faith, our fidelity, our love, as we meet him in prayer and in people, especially in the poorest.

Penitential Act
One of the offerings we bring to Jesus today
is the sorrow for the sins we have committed.
Let us ask him to forgive us.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, you radiate your light
on all the nations of the earth:
All praise to you!
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you offer justice and peace
to all willing to accept you:
All praise to you.
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor:
All praise to you!
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Lord, may your judgment on us
be a judgment of mercy and love,
for we recognize our poverty.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

2. A Savior for All the World

Greeting (see First Reading)

Arise, people of God,
for your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines on you.
Other peoples come to your light.
May the light of the Lord be always with you.
R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant
We celebrate today the great feast of Epiphany. Originally it was the Christmas feast of the Eastern part of the Christian Church. In the Western part the stress of Christmas was and is on the birth of Christ as a little human child. In the Eastern part the stress is more on Jesus coming as the Lord and Savior of all. This is the reality the liturgy stresses today: Jesus came to save and bring life to all. No one is excluded, no one is a stranger to him. May all come to know Jesus, alive here among us.

Penitential Act
We do little to bring Jesus
to those who do not know him.
We ask the Lord to forgive us.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, light from God,
dawn on the whole world,
shine in our hearts and lives:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, justice from God,
let your integrity and honesty
become the share of all people:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, peace from God,
hear the cries of the poor and the needy
and open our ears and hearts to them:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Forgive us our sins, Lord,
and gather us together as your one people.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.


3. The Guiding Star for All Nations

Greeting

May the star of Jesus our Lord shine on you
and on all the nations of the earth.
May you live in his light
and may the Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant

The celebration of Epiphany, meaning “manifestation,” is like a second Christmas. It is, in fact, the Christmas of the Eastern Churches. It proclaims that the child Jesus belongs to and is given to the whole world as its Savior. He is given to us, but with the magi the world brings to him its variety of gifts: its varied cultures, its many facets, its different identities. And we here, like people from other nations, bring him the gift of ourselves: our faith, our fidelity, our love, as we meet him in prayer and in people, especially in the poorest.

Penitential Act
One of the offerings we bring to Jesus today
is our sorrow for the sins we have committed.
Let us ask him to forgive us.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, you radiate your light
on all the nations of the earth:
All praise to you!
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you offer justice and peace
to all willing to accept you:
All praise to you.
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor:
All praise to you!
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

May your judgment on us
be a judgment of mercy and love,
for we recognize our poverty.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray to God our Father
that Christ may be the light of all
(PAUSE)
God of all nations, peoples and cultures,
this is the day you have made bright
with your light and your love
destined for all.
Guide us in the new ways of your Son.
Let your kindly light shine everywhere,
that all peoples may praise you
in their own language
and enrich your Church with their own gifts.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
our Lord and Savior for ever. R/ Amen.

First Reading (Is 60:1-6): God’s People A Light To All
In a vision the prophet sees an immense number of peoples flocking from everywhere to God’s light.

Reading 1: Is 60:1-6
Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
R. (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Second Reading (Eph 3:2-3a,5-6): All Nations Called In Christ
Jesus Christ came to unite all: all peoples, with-out any discrimination, are called to join God’s people.

Reading 2: Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6
Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel:.

Alleluia: Mt 2:2
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: (Mt 2:1-12): We Followed His Star
Those who are familiar with God’s promises do not seek him; the powerful fear him. But those who come from afar to seek the Savior, find and recognize him. God accepts all with their own gifts and potentials.

Gospel: Mt 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage."
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel."
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
"Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage."
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

Intercessions
On this day when peoples from afar came to worship Jesus the Lord, let our prayer be as wide as the world. Let us say to the Father: R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
– That the light of Christ may shine on all nations far and near and that the Church may welcome them with the diversity of their cultures, let us pray: R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
– That in our day justice may flourish and peace come to all of the world, let us pray: R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
– That God’s people may hear the poor when they cry, have pity on the weak and open their hearts and hands to the needy, let us pray: R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
– That those who persecute the Lord in those who try to follow him may see his light and be converted, let us pray: R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
– That all who look for a star to guide them may discover the goodness of the Lord in people full of faith and love, let us pray. R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
– That in our Christian communities we may learn, like the wise men, to share the treasures of our goods and hearts, let us pray: R/ Let the light of Christ shine on all people.
Lord our God, we rejoice that you have become near to us in Jesus your Son. Let him be the light of life now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Procession for the Preparation of the Gifts
The procession could stress the theme of the light and the gifts by having not only bread and wine brought forward but also lights and incense, the latter not merely in the usual thurible but in a larger incense burner.

Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
we have no gold to offer you
but merely the poverty of our hearts
and the incense of our praise and thanks.
Fill us with the presence of Jesus,
and let him be the light
that guides our wavering steps.
And let us be humble lights too,
that show to those who see it
the way to the light of the world,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Today Christ shows himself to us as the light and meaning of our lives and as the star of salvation of all peoples. Let us thank the Father with Jesus and pray that one day all may sit at the table of the Lord.

Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer
Jesus came to gather all
as children of one Father.
In our Lord’s owns words
we pray now to our Father in heaven. R/ Our Father...

Prayer for Peace
Lord Jesus Christ,
let the star of your peace rise today
on the body of the Church
and on all who believe in you.
In its light, may we learn
to love and to serve one another
and to share the joy of your peace
with all willing to accept it,
now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, the Son of God
and the guiding star of our lives.
Happy are we to be called
to share his table
and to bring his light to all. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, our Father,
you have shown us your Son today
in the words he spoke to us
and in the bread of life
by which he shared himself with us.
Let his light shine in us
and let our hope and joy reflect this light,
that our communities and all of us
may show forth his goodness and peace
for all to see.
We ask this through the light of our lives,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Blessing
We have celebrated together
that Jesus Christ came not only for Christians,
but to be known by every person,
every country, every culture on earth.
For he is the Savior of all.
May we come to know him better
and then make him known to others,
especially by the way we live.
And may almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Go in peace of Christ and walk in his light. R/ Thanks be to God.
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